From Petrus Obi, Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State yesterday disclosed that the choice of the former minister of information, Chief Nnia Nwodo for the post of president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was a collective decision of stakeholders of the state across political divide.
Governor Ugwuanyi explained that when he was informed that the position was zoned to Enugu State, he called a meeting of stakeholders where it was decided that it would be zoned to Nsukka.
He said the decision was based on the fact that Enugu West senatorial district had taken a shot at the post while Enugu East senatorial district was currently occupying the state leadership of the pan Igbo socio-cultural organisation.
The governor who spoke at the civic reception in his honour by the people of Imilike in Udenu Local Government Area of the state in recognition of his remarkable achievements, said the stakeholders unanimously nominated Chief Nwodo for the post after due consultation.
He added that unlike in the past, the people of the state were happy with the selection process.
“The choice of Chief Nnia Nwodo for the post of president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is the choice of Enugu State, not my personal choice,” Ugwuanyi said.
Other contenders for the Ohanaeze plum office are Chief Enechi Onyia (SAN), Mike Ajogwu (SAN) among others.
The election is slated for January.
Already, a 21-man electoral committee led by Professor Anya O. Anya has been put in place to ensure a hitch-free exercise that will usher in a new executive to pilot the affairs of the Igbo apex body for the next four years.
Other members of the electoral body include former health minister, Professor A.B.C Nwosu who is to serve as secretary, Prof.Ihechukwu Madubuike, Prof. Elo Amucheazi, Prof. Philip Atanmo, Prof. Sam Ukpabi and Ambassador Eddy Onuoha.
Others include Col.J.O.G Achuzia (retd), General Godwin Ugwuoke, Akunne Aroh Azikiwe, Dr. Chris Akoluka, Chief Kate Ezeofor, among others.
Briefing newsmen after their inauguration, Prof Anya promised that the committee would live up to expectations of the duty entrusted to them.
“Things have to change.It is only through good leadership that the desired change can be impacted. We shall do our best for Ndigbo,” he said.
Also, the out going President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Prof. Igariwey expressed belief that the electoral committee would live up to the challenges of the duty entrusted to them, since they are proven men and women of integrity.
Igariwey explained that the January 12, 2017 transition to a new leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo was in tandem with the four years tenure that his executive was elected to serve. Also in line with the constitution of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, which also was the same electoral guidelines in conformity with the constitution through which his predecessor and the previous leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo were elected.
He explained that there was no crisis on the issue of tenure of elected executive of the organisation, as being speculated in some quarters. He stated that the alleged two-year tenure was purely the imagination of trouble shooters.
Commenting on the controversy being generated on the purported choice of Dr. Nnia Nwodo as his successor, Professor Igariwey stressed that there was no doubting the fact that Enugu State would produce the next president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, in line with the zoning principle of top positions enshrined in the constitution of the organisation.
“Further to that, the constitution also provides that at least three candidates from the state should contest for the position and they must buy their forms as an indication of interest and thereafter, appear before the electoral committee for screening.”
He stressed that the electoral committee which has commenced work immediately would in due time, publish list of candidates who bought the forms and passed through the screening exercise.
Igariwey said there were no other methods through which elections are conducted in Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and the organisation was not subject to dictates from any political or social pressure group.
The out going Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Joe Nwaorgu also spoke in the same vein, stating that the Ohanaeze Ndigbo leadership was not subject to the dictates of South East Governors,and nobody could impose any candidate on the group.
He assured that the new executive members would be produced based on majority votes of delegates from the five Igbo states and Igbo speaking tribes from Delta and Rivers states. (The Sun)